UPFA will amend or do away with 19th Amendment - John | Daily News


UPFA will amend or do away with 19th Amendment - John

UNF drafting new constitution to please foreign powers

UPFA Parliamentarian John Seneviratne yesterday said that they would either bring amendments to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution or do away with it under their government.

Seneviratne added that the 19th Constitutional Amendment has led to the present unstable situation in the country as it was targeted to remove several individuals of the UPFA Government including former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from the political arena.“There were provisions in this Constitutional Amendment which helped UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to stay in power without any obstacle,”he said.

Speaking at a press conference at the SLPP office in Battaramulla, he said the UNP government was in the process of drafting a new Constitution to suit the needs of foreign powers.

“During the last phase of the war on terrorism, our government faced stiff pressure from foreign countries to stop military operations. But, our leaders did not give into such pressure and defeated one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world,” Seneviratne said.

The Parliamentarian added how representatives of foreign missions in Colombo had arrived at the Parliamentary complex on November 14 and 15, when the session was in progress.

“The Speaker and the UNP leaders are working hand in hand with the diplomatic missions in Colombo to create an opinion in the international arena that undemocratic activities are taking place in Sri Lanka after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths as the Prime Minister,” Senviratene said.

“The UNP and the foreign missions want to establish an opinion internationally that Sri Lankan authorities are violating the constitution and the democratic rights of the people have been denied,” he said.

Seneviratne believed that this situation can be solved through an election and people of all nooks and corner are also of the view that an election is the only way out of this mess.

“There was no timeframe for the dissolution of Parliament initially and the Prime Minister can inform the Governor if he or she wishes to dissolve Parliament,” he added.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike dissolved Parliament twice making use of this provision in the Constitution.

He said that former President J.R. Jayewardene included a clause in the 1978 Constitution through which Parliament cannot be dissolved when it completes one year.But under the 19th Amendment, this time period extended upto four and half years.

The Attorney General making submission in the Supreme Court on Wednesday stressed that the President’s power to dissolve Parliament has been ensured under the 33th and the 62 the articles of the Constitution.

“The dissolution of Parliament by the President is in conformity with the Constitution. JRJ wanted a weak Parliament and a strong Executive. Today the government is trying to strengthen Parliament to create problems with the Executive,” he said.

Seneviratne added that Parliament deviated from the centuries old traditions and norms when new session commenced after the prorogation.

“Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had said that he did not accept the letter sent by the President on November 14. He cannot ignore a letter sent by the Executive,” he added.

Seneviratne added that he (Speaker) could have adjourned the Parliament after inaugural session. “He has no authority to take up another subject for debate on this day,” he said

He said that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that a No confidence Motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaska would be taken up for debate on the same day in contravention of Parliamentary traditions and norms.

“The Speaker did not follow the proper procedure when taking up the NCM against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament. The Prime Minister and other Members of Parliament should be informed about the charges included in the NCM before it is taken up for debate.

He added that an Opposition MP cannot bring in a proposal aimed at suspending the Standing Orders in Parliament. “Such a proposal should be brought in by a Government Member in Parliament”, he said. 

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